Capstone Sponsorship FAQ (2024)

Q: What is expected of students in the Capstone course?

A: Students are expected to be the owners of their projects and manage the relationship with their sponsor, much as an independent consultant would.

Q: Can I submit a personal project?

A: No. Capstone projects must be sponsored by an organization of some type, which can be either a for-profit or a non-profit entity.

Q: Is Capstone a good fit for my startup?

A: While most Capstone sponsors are established corporations, non-profits, and civic organizations, we have had a number of successful Capstone projects sponsored by startups. Before submitting a project, be sure that your startup has the bandwidth to collaborate with a student team over multiple months. Typically, this means you have several people on your staff, and are either generating significant revenue or have raised meaningful amounts of outside funding.

Q: What is the sponsor’s commitment?

A: Sponsors are expected to ensure that students have access to the organizational resources and people that students need to be successful during the project. Typically this includes access to subject matter experts, internal systems and data, relevant documentation, or other resources required for the project.

Students schedule regular weekly or biweekly check-ins with sponsors to update them on progress and raise issues that sponsors need to address.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Most Capstone projects are unpaid. Students may be compensated if desired or necessary according to your organization's policy. Since many of our students are on international student visas, it is best to check with the school on the best method for compensation if you decide to pay the students. There may be additional costs for Capstones requiring special faculty or school resources.

Q: I posted a Capstone project. What happens to my proposal?

A: A member of our Capstone instructional team will review your project proposal, and may reach out to you for more information. Once your project is approved, it will be shared with our students who will reach out to you via the contact information you have provided. Sponsors will determine who they want to invite to do the project. If you have multiple teams who are interested, then the sponsor will need to choose among them and communicate their decision. Sponsors should aim to select a team by November 22, notifying the team via email and CCing

Q: What is Capstone Networking Night?What should I do if I have multiple teams interested in my project and need to choose between them?

After project approval, you may also choose to attend the in-person Capstone Networking Night. Capstone Networking Night provides sponsors the opportunity to meet student teams that are interested in their projects.

Following Capstone Networking Night, students email sponsors to schedule further discussion and next steps. You may have multiple student teams interested in your project. In this case, you may opt to schedule project pitch-off or team interviews with each student team. The sponsor will determine which team they’d like to invite to do the project and inform the team of their decision.

Each team will prepare a 5- to 10-minute pitch to share their perspective on your project, present their capabilities to meet your objectives, and ask clarifying questions. These presentations can effectively help you identify the team you want to work with. You can do these individually with each team, or schedule a block of time where you hear one team after another in a “pitch-off” format. The iSchool Capstone team helps facilitate follow-up with student teams.

Sponsors should aim to select a team by November 22, notifying the team via email and CC’ing

Q: Who owns the Intellectual Property?

A: Sponsors should clarify and document how each party may use intellectual property (IP) generated by the project.

Q: Do I need to provide students with a work location?

A: When onsite access to internal systems is necessary for students to complete the project, workspace for the students should be made available. In general, students should be seen as independent contractors, working with their own equipment and environment unless the project requires otherwise. Some students may conduct their projects from a remote location and communicate via phone or online conferencing.

Capstone Sponsorship FAQ (2024)
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